2020/21 in Pictures: Games 30, 31 and 32

As the season moves from April into May I hit a significant milestone and finally see my first 0-0 of the campaign.

Game 3️⃣0️⃣

⚽️ Madrid CFF 0-2 Real Madrid Femenino

🏟 Estadio Nuevo Matapiñonera, San Sebastián de los Reyes

🏆 Primera Iberdrola

📅 25.4.2021

💶 Free (Press Access)

A big game as the two Madrids met for the second time inside a week. The first meeting, a midweek Copa de la Reina quarter final had seen Madrid CFF emerge victorious in extra time, but this league game saw Real Madrid get their revenge and all but extinguish their opponents’ chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Madrid made a bright start, looking to build on the momentum from their cup win, but Real Madrid never looked back after Olga Carmona and Marta Cardona took a quick corner and played the ball to Kenti Robles, who did this…

Then just before the break, a cool finish from Sofia Jakobsson effectively killed the game as a contest.

Madrid tried hard to get back into the game, but were largely kept at arms length by a very impressive Real Madrid defence. The final 2-0 score line was the same as when I saw the two sides in January and once again I was extremely impressed with the Real Madrid full backs Robles and Carmona. They were excellent both in defence and attack, shoeing unbelievable energy to get up and down the pitch so much during the game.

Bar Watch: The Matapiñonera bar was open again, although this time I didn’t have time to visit it.

Shop Watch: Despite a large crowd of both home and away fans being present, there was no sign of any merchandise available inside or outside the ground.

Match Rating: 6.5/10 – Once Real Madrid had their 2-0 lead, they never looked like relinquishing it. A bit of an anti-climactic way for Madrid’s European aspirations to come to and end, but the atmosphere helped make it a more enjoyable game than it would have been behind closed doors.

Game 3️⃣1️⃣

⚽️ Atlético Madrid Femenino 0-0 Rayo Vallecano Femenino

🏟 Centro Deportivo Wanda, Alcalá de Henares

🏆 Primera Iberdrola

📅 1.5.2021

💶 €20

A week later, it was another Primera Iberdrola Madrid Derby for me as I at long last made it back to Alcalá de Henares and Atlético’s Centro Deportivo Wanda after visiting it in January last year.

Unfortunately this has been a season to forget for both clubs. Atlético are miles off the pace at the top and look almost certain to miss out on European qualification while Rayo have been fighting both relegation and the indifference of the people in charge of their club. Earlier in the season, photos of the “meal” provided to the players by the club after an away game at Levante – a couple of apples and processed ham sandwiches – caused widespread outrage on social media.

Atlético were on the front foot for most of the first half, but were unable to make much headway against a Rayo defence which sat deep and denied them space in behind. The closest they came was from a training ground free kick routine, which momentarily caught the Rayo defence napping, but they were unable to steer the ball on target.

Early in the second half there was a lengthy stoppage after an accidental collision between Atlético’s Kylie Strom and Patri Larqué, where it looked like the Rayo goalkeeper wouldn’t be able to continue, but she defied expectations to stay on the pitch and continue to repel attack after attack.

Atlético made a lot of attack-minded subs, eventually finishing the game with all of Ludmila, Deyna Castellanos, Toni Duggan, Emelyne Laurent and Leicy Santos on the pitch as they set up camp in the Rayo half and laid siege to the goal. But Larqué was equal to everything they threw at her, until a second collision, this time with Atlético defender Merel van Dongen, brought the game to a halt and saw he stretchered off. Her replacement, Natalia Expósito, had barely been on the pitch a minute before almost conceding the winner – courtesy of a deflection off one of her own defenders which hit the woodwork and amazingly bounced to safety inside a crowded penalty area.

Because of the two injury-enforced breaks, there was a mammoth 11 minutes of stoppage time, but there was still no way through for Atlético as Rayo clung on for a point which might prove crucial in their fight to avoid relegation at the end of the season.

Bar Watch: I failed to notice the bar/restaurant here on my last visit, but as I ended up arriving about an hour before kick off due to the bus schedule, I was able to spend some time reading in the sun on their outdoor terrace while having almuerzo. It was remarkably cheap for a bar at a football ground associated with a major club.

The inside, which has views of the pitch, is very classy. I imagine this is where VIPs are entertained at big matches.

Shop Watch: There is an Atlético store on site for all your colchonero needs. I do like how the advertising here features the female players more prominently than the one in the city centre.

Match Rating: 7/10 – I’d take this kind of absorbing 0-0 over a drab 1-0 any day. Even if the 11 minutes of stoppage time almost made me miss my bus home!

Game 3️⃣2️⃣

⚽️ Flat Earth FC 1-0 AD Parla

🏟 Estadio Asociación de Vecinos de Orcasitas, Madrid

🏆 Tercera Division Group 7

📅 2.5.2021

💶 €10

Talking of drab 1-0’s…

Knowing I had Monday off helped when I decided to go along to this match, Sunday evening are usually my time for a bit of relaxing before a Monday morning class.

Flat Earth FC were fairly big news last season, but this season they’ve rather dropped off the radar. Indeed, this may be one of the final games they play under their current identity as new owners took over in January and will likely rebrand the club ahead of next season.

A lot of the things that made Flat Earth games strangely entertaining last season (the printed out memes, the Astronaut doing keepy-ups on the pitch before matches) are now gone. What remains is a mid-table football club.

On this occasion they did have too much for Parla, they dominated the closing stages of the first half, going close to scoring on a number of occasions but being denied by the woodwork and a number of outstanding saves from the visitors’ goalkeeper.

They did take the lead early in the second half and but for some wasteful finishing, could easily have had a few more goals.

Bar Watch: The bar at Orcasitas was open and serves an excellent chorizo bocata, with a special secret ingredient – chips! I don’t know why more places don’t add them in. Superb value at only €2,50 too. It also has a terrace where you can sit and watch the game, admittedly through the protective net which stops the balls from wayward shots hitting you in the face as you drink.

Shop Watch: It feels like Flat Earth FC’s days are numbered and there wasn’t any kind of shop or merchandise stall here to allow people to buy something to remember them by.

Match Rating: 5.5/10 – A mostly forgettable occasion, livened up by a good goal and an excellent half-time sandwich.

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